Washington, D.C., metropolis officers stated almost 2,500 well being care employees have did not adjust to their COVID-19 mandate deadline requiring at the least one dose of the inoculation by Thursday. Nearly 70% of these well being care employees who haven’t but been vaccinated have requested non secular exemptions. 

City Administrator Kevin Donahue stated the most important variety of exemption requests have come from the D.C. Fire and EMS Department, The Washington Post reported. About 267 of the company’s some 2,000 workers have sought some kind of exemption from the vaccine mandate, with the overwhelming majority of that group citing their faith. All 20 requests which have been reviewed to date have been rejected. 

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Donahue stated 89% of all D.C. authorities workers had reported their vaccination standing by Thursday afternoon, with 75% reporting that they have been absolutely vaccinated. During a name Friday, D.C. City Council member Elissa Silverman steered that the town well being division would possibly get rid of the non secular exemption for the vaccine mandate, arguing attainable abuse. 

But members of the DC Firefighters Bodily Autonomy Affirmation Group, which is made up of members who maintain Christian, Jewish and Muslim beliefs, insist that their requests for non secular exemptions coincide with real expressions of their religion, which has comforted them in the course of the pandemic. The group has retained authorized counsel ought to their requests be denied. 

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser introduced in August that every one licensed, licensed well being professionals, EMS personnel, in addition to unlicensed well being care employees, which embody affected person care technicians, private care aides, environmental companies employees, should begin a vaccination dosage by Sept. 30. 

That mandate applies to some 82,000 licensed well being care employees, not together with fireplace division personnel, metropolis officers stated. 

But simply 51,000 licensed well being care employees had reported their vaccination standing by Friday morning – about 49,000 of which stated that they had obtained a number of doses of the vaccine, The Washington Post reported. Meanwhile, some 1,640 licensed well being care employees reported that that they had not began a dosage – and 75% of that group stated they’re in search of a non secular exemption. 

Of the roughly 13,000 unlicensed well being care employees who reported their standing to the town, greater than 12,000 stated they obtained at the least one dose of the vaccine. Meanwhile, 62% of the some 823 unlicensed employees who reported not having obtained the vaccine are requesting a non secular exemption.

Donahue stated every exemption request should be reviewed on a case-by-case foundation beneath federal regulation, and there may be an appeals course of, WTOP reported. But firefighters whose requests are in the end denied would possibly face termination. Other well being care employees would possibly face having their medical licenses revoked. Those employees who would possibly enchantment the choice will proceed to be subjected to weekly testing.